Sample text for A field guide to reptiles & amphibians : eastern and central North America / Roger Conant and Joseph T. Collins ; illustrated by Isabelle Hunt Conant and Tom R. Johnson.


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Counter ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLE Pls. 3, 9
Macroclemys temminckii
IDENTIFICATION: 15–26 in. (38–66 cm); record 311?2 in. (80 cm).
Weight 35–150 lbs. (16–68 kg); record 251 lbs. (113.9 kg) for a
specimen maintained in captivity for nearly 50 years; 316 lbs. (143.3
kg) for a wild-caught example. Look for the huge head with its
strongly hooked beaks, the prominent dorsal keels, and the extra row
of scutes on each side of the carapace. Likely to be confused only
with Snapping Turtles. Young (Pl. 3): Brown, shell exceedingly rough;
tail very long. About 11?4–13?4 in. (3–4.4 cm) at hatching.
This gigantic freshwater turtle, our largest and one of the
largest in the world, often lies at bottom of lake or river with
mouth held open. A curious pink process on floor of mouth resembles a
worm, wriggles like one, and serves as a lure for fish. similar
species: Snapping Turtle has a saw-toothed tail and a smaller head,
and also lacks the extra row of scutes be-tween costals and
marginals. range: Sw. Ga. and n. Fla. to e. Texas; north in
Mississippi Valley to Kans., Iowa, and sw. Ky.; an isolated record in
cen. Tenn.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Reptiles United States Identification, Amphibians United States Identification, Reptiles Canada Identification, Amphibians Canada Identification